23 Lebanese historic sites and tourist attractions were added Thursday to Google Street View’s special collections of global cultural monuments and natural landmarks .
With 360-degree views of the world’s most iconic landmarks and monuments, from India’s Taj Mahal to the United States’ Yosemite National Park, Google Street View has become an essential tool for researchers and for tourists choosing a travel destination.
The news that Google added images of Baalbak, Byblos Citadel , Jeita, Tyre and Sidon, Beaufort Castle, the Chouf Cedar Reserve, the National Museum as well as AUB, LAU and LIU campuses, among other locations across the country , has been welcomed with enthusiasm by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.
Caretaker Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury, who alongside Hariri and caretaker Tourism Minister Avedis Guidanian met Thursday with representatives of Google Middle East and North Africa at Hariri’s Downtown Beirut residence, praised the initiative for providing researchers and students easy access to Lebanon’s long history and civilization, according to a statement from the premier’s office.
“The stunning images” of “the most unique landmarks in Lebanon” are now “accessible right from the palm of your hand,” Lino Cattaruzzi, Google MENA’s managing director, was quoted as saying. He promised to make “more of Lebanon” accessible online to Google users.
Google Maps’ Street View, whose database contains panoramic views of thousands of cities, was launched in 2007 and has since captured various places of interest, including theme parks, university campuses, pedestrian malls, landmarks and zoos.